Core Virtues

Boys Leadership Retreat 2018

-DVBS Archive Team-

Written by: Bohan Zhu (Class of 2020)

Photos by: Gwynn Lim (12) + Marvin Wang (11) 

“We emphasize educating the mind and spirit, so that the students have a solid foundation for being a person. In the future, when they start working, they will base their actions on virtue and serve as models for others. People will look up to and learn from them, and their influence will gradually reverse the unwholesome trends of society. Then there will be no need to lock the doors at night.” — Venerable Master Hua

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Engulfed by the deafening silence, the odorless fragrance of mountain air penetrates through your nostrils. A glittering lake in the horizon welcomes you with its open arms. Occasionally, the honking of geese or the chattering of your friends breaks the almost insurmountable tranquility, while you finally breathe a sigh of relaxation.

Where do you think you are? By Lake Placid in New York? Or by Lake Tahoe in California? No, you are beside our neighboring Clear Lake, taking part in the 2018 DVBS Leadership Retreat led by our alumni Daron Fong, Hubert Liu, Ryan Liu, Hansa Kary, Wesley Sun and Bobby Antalek on the weekend of September 7-9.



The goal of this annual retreat is to show the next generation of leaders that they are capable of much more than they realize.

For the juniors and seniors of DVBS, this was an adventurous weekend breaking through the wilderness of nature, as well as the remaining wilderness that separated individual from individual. Furthermore, we were able to recognize the potential of each person and the cohesiveness that bonds us together into such a formidable force. As the time went on, our closely-knit group of students went from just exploring ourselves and our classmates to becoming a brotherhood being able to outline the “why, how, and what” of our vision for the school and a proposed new school motto through through activities organized by the alumni.


Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.-
What will your verse be?



Sunrise means….  Photography!
Marvin Wang (11), by Gwynn Lim (12)

One of the activities was “Electric Fence”, where all juniors and seniors have to remain in contact while going crossing a boundary above a rope tied between two trees. The goal of these activities are to teach people how to communicate, leader and accomplish a goal under pressure. To outspoken teammates it reveals that they need to involve everyone in decisions. To shy teammates it shows how well they lead when given a chance. This exercise forced us to think strategically and plan before executing.


Nathan Loafman (11) is lifted during “Electric Fence”


“The Bucket Lift”

Alumni also shared their stories of the challenges they have faced since graduating and how they overcame them. They also cooked or prepared all our meals. We had vegan waffles in the morning. And there was a special cooking workshop where we learned how to make Asian vegan tofu alfredo w/ with homemade chili oil—which was delicious.


Group Hug!

On Sunday, the day after our arduous seven mile hike up and down Wright Peak of Mt. Konocti, we left the site full of fatigue, yet full of joy for our promising future. We greatly appreciate all the help we received, in thoughts and in forms, from our beloved alumni!


Special thanks to Mr. Hu for planning this amazing retreat and both Hansa and Wesley for buying and making all of our amazing meals. Thanks to the above alumni and Ryan, Hubert, and Daron for taking their time to plan activities and open up with stories to teach us – the younger generation. An additional thanks to Mr. Hertz for driving.

Developing Virtue Secondary School emphasizes citizenship and filial piety- loyalty to one’s country and filial piety to one’s parents. In order to protect one’s country and be a good citizen, one must first establish a strong character and be able to endure tests without succumbing to circumstances… With a noble character, great resolve, and persevering and indomitable spirit, one can achieve great things. This is the aim of Developing Virtue Secondary School. — Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

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–DVBS Archive Team–

September 16, 2018